|JOHN PAUL I STUDENTS GET A LIVING HISTORY LESSON AT OTTAWA REMEMBRANCE DAY CEREMONIES|
MONTREAL, NOVEMBER 11, 2002– More than 40 students from two Grade 8 history classes at the English Montreal School’s Board’s (EMSB) John Paul I Junior High in St. Leonard travelled to Ottawa on Monday, November 11 to attend Remembrance Day Ceremonies, visited the Canadian War Museum and meet with Dr. Rey Pagtakhan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science, Research and Development).
Massimo Pacetti, Member of Parliament for Saint-Leonard/Saint Michel, saw the group off at the school that morning along with EMSB Commissioner and Vice-Chair Dominic Spiridigliozzi. Mr. Pacetti facilitated the brief meeting with Pagtakhan, which occurred immediately following the Remembrance Day ceremonies. The students placed their own wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and engaged in conversation with a number of veterans from World War II. Prior to visiting the the Canadian War Museum, the students were briefed about the prosecution of Nazi War Criminals and lobbying efforts for a Canadian Holocaust Museum by Canadian Jewish Congress Director of Government Relations Eric Vernon.
History teacher Joe Mormina and Spiritual Community Animator Angie M. D’Alesio accompanied the students. "We wanted to teach our students never to take lightly the sacrifice people have made," said Ms. D’Alesio. "We know that those who gave their lives did not so lightly, but they did so willingly. We are essentially the benefactors of their sacrifice and we wanted to honour them by always remembering!"
Added Mr. Mormina: "This was a living history lesson. I am was so impressed with the dialogue which ensued between the students and the veterans."
Michael J. Cohen